Himachal Pradesh has a lot of undiscovered and untouched jewels hidden within it. Narkanda- a tiny hill station located about 60km from Shimla, is one such gem. Narkanda is away from the outpour of tourists that flock Shimla every year. It is a little away from the human touch and still remains uncorrupted and pure. This purity of Narkanda is exactly what makes this hamlet the best offbeat destination to visit. The landscape is serene and nature is still flourishing, carefully kept away from the commercialisation of the other more popular destinations around Narkanda.
Narkanda is mostly known for its ski resorts in the winter and the vibrant Apple Orchards. The most exciting part about Narkanda is the magic that is in its air. The large pine trees and the clean air gives one a sense of purpose and elevates every kind of sensory organ in the human body.
Narkanda is a mere two hours drive from Shimla.
There is also a direct bus from Delhi to Narkanda. The price for which is around 500 rupees. Buses are also a comfortable way to travel.
The divine Hatu Temple (dedicated to Mandodari- the wife of Raavan) is located atop the Hatu peak. The temple and the peak is best reached on foot. The hike is pleasant and goes through the deodar jungle. The vibrant colours of the trees and the fragrance of the various flowers make the hike extremely enjoyable and blissful. Hatu peak itself offers a wonderful panoramic view of the town that lies below. The spot is majestically picturesque and one can stare at the wonder for hours and hours.
This small lake is man-made. It is only a 15km drive from Narkanda, and the journey itself is quite beautiful. The little lake is nice, cool and refreshing. Small pathways are made along the lake making it the perfect spot to just walk and talk. The lake also has a tiny clearing nearby, which doubles up as a nice camping spot (one has to carry their own gear). This area also has a plethora of exotic birds.
Narkanda is known for its Apple plantations. The Apple Orchards in Thanedar is the most well-known one. One can easily visit one such plantation to know all the nitty gritty of the Apple Farming process. A local farmer takes one through the process of Apple processing and how they are cultivated. It is an absolute delight to walk across these plantations and pick juicy and pure Apples. The apples are absolutely organic and the taste itself is healing.
Narkanda is also a lovely ski haven during the winter months. The ski season starts from Dec and lasts till Feb. Narkanda is relatively a little unknown to tourists, and hence, it is the perfect place when for someone who is looking for some time away from the crowd and to ski in peace. The place is usually less crowded, which makes skiing experience even better. One doesn’t have to keep waiting in long queues that other ski destinations have to face. The nightly Himalayas covered with a white blanket of snow makes it the perfect place to just ski and forget all the burdens of the world
Lush green fields and the earthy smell of the grass cover this enchanting little meadow. This meadow looks exactly like it has been painted by some famous English painter. The grass is the perfect shade of green and the sky complements the grass with its shining blue colour. The place is so beautiful that every single aspect of the meadow looks like that it is in perfect harmony with each other. The grass, the sky, the wooden huts and even the domestic animals in the meadows radiate a kind of purpose that touches any human that stands in midst of this meadow. This is also the best place to enjoy a lovely picnic.
Narkanda is the aptest place for anybody who wants to enjoy both the calm and the charm of hill stations. It is more scenic than Shimla, yet less crowded. This makes Narkanda the best place to go to just hide away from the civilisation and take that much-needed break.